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CenterPoint Energy urges customers to be prepared for potential impacts as Hurricane Laura heads toward the Gulf Coast

CenterPoint Energy logo. (PRNewsFoto)

Houston, TX (Aug. 25, 2020) – CenterPoint Energy has been closely monitoring forecasts and preparing for potential impacts from Hurricane Laura, which is expected to make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday. While the exact track still remains uncertain, the company encourages customers to have an emergency plan in place and keep important pre- and post-storm natural gas safety tips top of mind to stay safe.

Natural Gas Safety

Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter in advance of the storm; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines should flooding occur. If you wish to discontinue gas service, turn off the natural gas at each appliance.

Always be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.

If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.

Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 888-876-5786 and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician.

If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.

Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.

Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.

In response to COVID-19, CenterPoint Energy implemented its Pandemic Preparedness Plan to help ensure safe, reliable delivery of energy and services to homes and businesses. To respond to the upcoming tropical systems, the company will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities.

No two storms are alike and flooding can have a significant impact on natural gas operations. For information on natural gas safety, and other resources, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/StormCenter

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